Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly were the central romance of The Office starting with the show’s first episode. They’re often considered one of the great TV couples of all time, but new details revealed in The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s by Andy Greene suggest that the show’s writers came very close to breaking the couple up in the show’s final season, according to Vulture.
The original plan for the couple had them breaking up in the final season, only to see them reconcile in the series finale. John Krasinski, who played Jim on the show, was reportedly an advocate of that approach to the story.
“My whole pitch to Greg was that we’ve done so much with Jim and Pam, and now, after marriage and kids, there was a bit of a lull there, I think, for them about what they wanted to do. For me it was, ‘Can you have this perfect relationship go through a split and keep it the same?’ which of course you can’t. And I said to [showrunner and creator] Greg Daniels, ‘It would be really interesting to see how that split will affect two people that you know so well,'” Krasinksi said.
Brent Forrester, one of the show’s writers, confirmed that a breakup was originally part of their plan for the couple. He said the split would have taken place around the middle of the show’s ninth season. The original idea was for the documentary at the center of the show to air, and for Jim and Pam to reunite in the episode where the documentary hits screens.
Greene’s book also suggests that Mindy Kaling, who played Kelly Kapoor on the show and was also a member of the writers’ room, was an advocate for breaking Jim and Pam up as early as Season 5. In the show’s ninth season, a boom operator is introduced in order to suggest that Pam might consider an affair. Ultimately, though, the decision backfired after fans responded negatively to the idea of a love triangle between Jim, Pam, and the crew member.
Ultimately, even Krasinski backed away from the initial pitch, saying that it would be far too painful for the show’s biggest fans.
Previously, Greene’s book had revealed that there was serious debate around who should manage the office following Steve Carrell’s departure from the show. Some wanted the manager to be Dwight, while others thought it should be Andy. Needless to say, the writers in favor of Andy ultimately won out.